Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Scraps :: To Save or Not to Save

So I have a scrappy project to share today and the crazy part is, they aren't even my scraps!! I admired the Oakshott Italy that Cindy/Live a Colorful Life was working with a while back, and she responded by sending me her scraps! Yay for me! But before I show off what I did with them, I need to share a little tale . . .

So I was at a quilting retreat a week or so ago, and I came to a point where I had lots of little triangles left from what I was working on. So I asked the gals if I should keep them or toss them, and Joan, sitting next to me, piped right up with 'toss them!' So I did, you know, not really sure if I'd get around to using them or not. So whatever. Though I was a tad surprised at Joan's response, being an avid scrap-saver herself.

Well wouldn't you know but later in the weekend I caught Joan gathering up scraps even smaller than I had tossed. And the truth came out! Linda laughingly suggested that Joan might just be planning to raid my 'discard' bag after I had left to head home! Can you imagine?! haha. Well I don't really know if she did or not, but if she did, here's to enjoying what little leftovers I tossed.

Now on to what I did with that awesome Oakshott! My inspiration came from a photo I took of a chair at a local coffee shop. I take odd photos like this all the time, but this might be the first time I actually went on to create something!
So here's my first block, which my quilting buddy Sharon identified as a "Greek key" so that's what I've been calling it.
The scraps Cindy sent consisted of 7 colors and I used 6 to make the larger improv blocks, using Essex linen in natural as a background. It was after I'd sewn those 6 blocks together than I came up with the idea for the small unraveling 'key' in the bottom corner. Kind of a random element, but I think it added a bit of fun to the quilt. And for the record, those Oakshotts together with the Essex made for such rich texture in these blocks.
Backing was a stash find, 'garden spiral' in chocolate by Alexander Henry Fabrics, chosen for the pattern as much as the subtle color. For the quilting, I used Aurifil 50wt #5021, which is light grey by its number label but looks more like camel, and I am seriously thinking it might have been mislabeled. At any rate, it is a lovely match for the Essex natural, subtle enough not to be distracting on the colored spirals.
I began quilting there at the intersection of the top 4 blocks, then did a wonky, uneven square spiral around the quilt. Dare I say this was FUN?! I did very little marking, so lines are a little wobbly here and there - just the look I was after.
To keep the focus on the spirals, I used more Essex for the binding, while using the last little piece of the reddish Oashott Italy to make a short bit of matched binding.
One little added comment on this project . . . when completed, the  little "Keychain" quilt measured 24 1/2" x 29". I usually don't compare quilt measurements before and after a wash, but I was curious considering I was using the linen and shot cotton. Color me surprised! After a cold wash and a warm dry, the quilt measured 23" x 27". whoa. That's quite a difference. Note to self.
Despite the shrinkage, I love this little quilt even more now that it's super crinkly!
AND it's the last project on my 2015 Q1 FAL list! Double the fun.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Considerable Blog Touring

Little did I realize when I recently said 'yes' to two different blog tours that they'd start on the very same day - TODAY! So things have been a tad hectic getting ready for them, but I'm excited about both, and it's kind of nice that 1 is for a new book, and the other a new line of fabric!

First up is Heidi/Fabric Mutt's Busy Girl Sews! Heidi asked me ages ago if she could interview me for her book, so it's a real pleasure to be able to participate in the blog tour as well. 
So meet Sew Organized for the Busy Girl: Tips to Make the Most of Your Time & Space. It's a fun book, with loads of lovely, useful projects.  I love the sidebars in the book, where Heidi shares ideas to make project time more productive, plus there's 'Busy Girl Speaks' snippets from various sewing bloggers, speaking on blogging, organizational tips, and more. I have no doubt you'd find Heidi's book a pleasure to sew from.
I'm currently working on quilting my project, using some lovely Artisan Cottons courtesy of Windham Fabrics. Here's a sneak peek and a list of the blog stops each Monday till July!
April 6 - Jodi of Tales of Cloth & Angela of Cut to Pieces
April 13 - Lindsay of Craft Buds & Debbie of A Quilter's Table
April 20 - Leanne of She Can Quilt
April 27 - Fat Quarter Shop
May 4 - Erin of Why Not Sew?
May 11 - Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts
May 18 - Svetlana of SOTAK Handmade
May 25 - Lucy of Charm About You
June 1 - Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade
June 8 - Becca of Bryan House Quilts
June 15 - Beth of Plum & June
June 22 - Jessica of Quilty Habit
June 29 - Caroline of Sew Can She
July 6 - Heidi of Fabric Mutt (Tour Wrap!)

Next up is the Etno Blog Tour, using Pat Bravo's beautiful new fabric line, ETNO for Art Gallery Fabrics.
I was sent the "Dainty Folk" collection - lovely aquas and corals with white and black - a really delightful mix of colors and prints. Here's a sneak peek of my project, and again, a list of blog tour stops for Etno!
March 30th → Allison Dutton │Allison Sews

March 31st → Brandi Blowers │BNB Studios

April 01st → Miki Simic│Mint Needle
 April 02nd → Rochelle New│Lucky Lucille

April 03rd
→ Teri Dodds│Fa Sew LA
April 04th → Lisa Nielsen│The Quilt Jam
April 05th → Hilary Smith│Young Texan Mama

April 06th → Sharon McConnell│Color Girl Quilts

April 07th → Marija Vujcic│Marija's Fabric Creation
April 08th → Nancy Purvis│Owens Olivia

April 09th → Becky McCoy│Sewin 4 Him

April 10th
→ Erin Stewart│Poppy Quin

April 11th → Kathryn Upitis│Upitis Quilt

April 12th → Lori Hartman│Lori Hartman Designs

April 13th
→ Abbey Garcia│Sew Charleston

April 14th → Aida Valverde│Aika Maku

April 15th → Debbie Jeske│A Quilter's Table

April 16th → Lara Bowditch│Scrap Quilt Preach

April 17th → Isabel Kelly│Lamb and Wolfie

April 18th
→ Kylie Kelsheimer│Faith Love Fabric

April 21stBlog Tour Final Recap

So I sure hope you join in the tours - you're bound to see some beautiful projects and find inspiration for sure!